Slow Fashion Unravelled
Sustainable, eco-friendly and slow fashion are all terms we're seeing more and more of lately. A lot of this is thanks to the Fashion Revolution movement. The first time I encountered Orsola de Castro, one of the joint Founders and Directors of Fashion Revolution, she was speaking at the Meet the Manufacturer conference in 2015.
For me, Fashion Revolution has pioneered a permission for consumers, designers and manufacturers to ask more questions about where their raw materials, fabrics and garments come from. In an incredibly inspiring talk, Orsola made me consider the responsibility that comes with manufacturing products and better consider the garment's entire life cycle. It also made me think about the connotations that sustainable fashion has. A designer may choose to save on waste by using recyclable hemp in their woven knickers design but while we may have nothing but admiration for an ethically made product such as this - if the knickers are brown and scratchy and nobody wants to wear them it’s still a waste!
It seems that eco-friendly or green fashion doesn't address the whole cycle. Slow fashion however, is about choice, information and balance. It's about curiosity at all stages of the product's life cycle.
Slow fashion is an approach in which designers, buyers, retailers and consumers are more aware of the impacts of products on workers, communities and ecosystems.
As workers spend more time on producing higher quality garments, products inevitably cost more. However, buying fewer products that are higher in value, allows for a fairer distribution of the retail price throughout the supply chain. As a result, stronger, more valuable relationships and interactions are formed throughout the cycle.
Slow fashion uncovers a more sustainable future for the fashion and textile industry and an opportunity for business to be done in a way that respects each and every precious element of the garment life cycle.